Spar is to reappraise what its brand stands for in a bid to differentiate itself from other convenience retailers. The chain is facing increasing pressure from consolidation in its market, and the recent arrival of the multiples such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s in the sector.
It is consulting its members about its positioning and asking how Spar differs from other retailers in the sector and what that may mean for the consumer.
Marketing director Susan Derbyshire says: “An obvious point of difference is that we are ‘independent’, but that alone is not a direct benefit for the consumer.
The positioning is likely to revolve much more around the community. Spar has already set up a website for consumers to air their opinions on their local community called support-your- community.org. It is also looking at establishing links with local businesses that can offer services that benefit customers as well as with local food producers.
The chain is also overhauling its own-label products, refining the range and repackaging it category by category. It has set a target of getting Spar-branded products to account for 30 per cent of sales in stores within the next two years. Spar-branded products account for less than 20 per cent on average.
Spar is also trialling financial services products in its stores and has decided to roll out its in-store television network to up to 100 stores as well as an in-store radio network to more than 1,000 stores.